Sunday, July 13, 2008

Plum foolish

This weekend I was doing my basic cowering of scientific journals from around the globe. For me this is like going to the club or bar hopping. It started because I had these two articles I had to proof for some journals that I wrote – BTW Cardiovascular risk reduction for African American men through health empowerment and anger management will be out soon in Health Education Journal, 67(3)208-218. Stephens et al (2008).

Any who, in my reading I went over the latest press releases from research facilities across the countries because shit like this never makes the news papers. One that struck out involved the possible relocation of the Plum Island Animal Research Center.

Now I first heard of this place in a book, Silence of the Lambs. In the book the white FBI lady was talking to Hannibal Lechter and told jones that if he helped them catch the killer, he would be relocated to Plum Island. Plum Island is where the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in concert with the Department of Homeland Security and selected pharmaceutical companies are conducting research on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) among other deadly animal toxins and viruses. Smart you would think to have such a research instillation on an Island true. But now, based the urging of The Department of Homeland Security, the Feds want to move the facility inland. Yep, inland for a research facility that holds the world's most contagious livestock diseases.

Plum Island is located approximately 2.5 miles from tip of Long Island a used to be run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) until 2003, when the Department of Homeland Security took over. I just do not get how this could be safer in the eyes of supposedly people who got protecting the security of our country as their first mission. Can we learn anything from the British? I know we knew they were in Iraq for 27 years and eventually had to bail – lesson not learned. Also, there was an outbreak in Britain in 2001 – lesson obviously not learnt (spelling intentional) now this.

I mean from my minor background in infectious disease, I do know that FMD is way more (about 20 times) more infectious than smallpox. Add to that, FMD virus can be transferred via ones breath, saliva, mucus, clothes, or even a car. Sure it aint harmful to people – yet, but jones here eat meat. And I have not even attempted to calculate the economic impact on the country if an outbreak did occur – I like loot too much and the figures I produce may scare me.

The strange thing is that I juts want to know what kind of scientist folk got working for them – the Department of Homeland Security and If I can get a job. Because I would never make a recommendation of such, not on my understanding of disease vectors or behavioral epidemiology, but based on what I know security to mean - freedom from danger. Don’t these folk know they just giving terrorist ideas? Dang folk, now that is plum foolish.


Anonymous said...

Where do you find this stuff? I read where, great post

The Jaded NYer said...

word? I'm gonna have to look that up... it was bad enough having it so close to me and mine NOW, but when they say inlnd... do they mean inland NY?

*goes to read up on Plum Island*

Anonymous said...

Begs the question -- what is the financial motivation? That is, after all, the most significant factor in Uncle Sam and Granddaddy Big Business's decision-making processes, right? Damn public health and national security.

Anonymous said...

SMH. I wonder what their reasoning is for moving it inland. I wonder what they want to do with that island that maybe in their eyes is more important.

Mizrepresent said...

I love when you bring out stuff like this...

DivaJood said...

Don’t these folk know they just giving terrorist ideas?

Ah, and there's the rub, Torrance. Not only do they give the terrorists ideas, but look historically at how we've funded and trained Al Queda; how we set Saddam up in Iraq, only to take him down when he no longer suited our purposes. We are truly fucked, my dear.

4GOTTEN1 said...

Moving this facility inland is just crazy. If the purpose of the place is to house and research these deadly animal diseases why bring them in closer to risk contamination of our food supply. I never quite understand decisions like this by our government.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

In the early 90s I had the misfortune of catching Lyme disease from a tick bit. It took over a year and six doctors to figure out what was wrong with me, and nearly ten years before I felt normal again.

I did a lot of research and finger pointed at Lab 257 at Plum Island. This place is a testing site for biowarfare. It should have been situated in a cold climate away from civilization, say, Alaska and near the North Pole.

Sometimes I think this insanity of harming us is deliberate...

IntrospectiveGoddess said...

That's insane, What is this the 1800s?!?!? Next thing you know we will be finding out they want to start using us as guinea pigs...(Tuskegee anyone?) Thanks for that info gonna look into that more..there is no justifiable reason for moving something like that inland thats like saying they want to put minefields on playgrounds.

Anonymous said...

Will you please write a letter to editor of AJC telling Atlanta parents about this bio-terror lab. Athens, GA is one of the proposed sites (60 miles from Atlanta) and home of University of Georgia, where sooooo many Atlanta students go to college. Prospective parents in Atlanta have no idea their children might be living 4 years in Germ Town...The New Plum Island.

You can sign a petition against NBAF in Athens at: (2/3 way down on their homepage) Lots of information on this site.

Let's get Atlanta aware of this. Hope Scholarship or not, I don't want my children in this bio-terror setting.

4GOTTEN1 said...

OMG they really are considering moving that plant to Georgia that's right in my back yard.

Dreamy said...

what kind of plum foolery is that!!! im am so happy that you informed me on this. i dont know what goes on in the minds of people today. makes me wonder what are their motives

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Torrance: How they locate both Plum Island and Brookhaven Labs Nuclear Facility in Suffolk County, LI, NY, which has exactly ONE thoroughfare to the rest of the country -- Route 27 -- is beyond me.

Nelson DeMille also had a good pot-boiler about Plum Island, btw.

paisley said...

i wish i thought it was mere foolishness that allowed such blatant errors in judgment...

if you were to be in their employ,, i wonder how long it would take you and your truth to "disappear"????

sad state of affairs...

12kyle said...

@ Torrance
Remember that phrase from the late 80s...droppin' science???

That's what you do, bruh. Preciate that, bruh

rainywalker said...

Raw Dawg,
I got you hooked up. Thanks for checking out my blog.
This thing about Plum Island being moved bothers me. Why not keep it out on the island where all this death can't get loose?
Plus why is Homeland Security in charge of this? They seem to have their hands in all our pockets, but what are they looking for?

Pimpin' Pens said...

I swear this department is either deliberately trying to cause a pandemic or they only hire those that can easily fit their heads up their asses meng. On a better note, clap attack is def poppin in the 30fizzle.

- Los

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs said...

Sounds plum foolish to me too...thanks for the educating us...Peace & Blessings

Admin said...

Are they really going to do this without any protests or anything?? Sad..They had the right idea the first time having on an island nowhere near ppl. SMH

SjP said...

D*mn! That's all I got to say!

Babz Rawls Ivy said...

There is no political will to do anything but let it happen.

Political will is citizens holding their elected servants accountable through letter writing, calling and peaceable protests. If no one protests in numbers that raise eyebrows then Plum Island and other Plum Islands will turn in up in backyards all over the place...except Greenwich, CT where I am from and places like that (where the very very rich live)because they would have political will and money to thwart this taking place in their bacyards and surrounding communities.

This happens in the poorest of places because they know the opposition would be minor and with the right concessions it could get passed on some local legislative level. Big federal Government does not implement this sort of must make its way through local council, County, state house etc.

What folks need to realize is that they have the greatest impact on the federal level by acting on the local level. Strong local mobilization is what is needed to get this type of shit beat back.

Take the Anonymous Poster's advice and simply write and register your opposition.


Missy said...

Left you a message.

Anonymous said...

Went to the USDA website and at the very bottom this notice was posted...i think we're a bit late here...

Please note:
Land, buildings and other facilities of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center were transferred to the Department of Homeland Security in June 2003.

Land was transferred?? what the fuckkk??? i stopped eating meat a few months ago, fish and veggies for me...

Dione said...

We are slowly being screwed... Millions of pounds of veggies (tomatoes and peppers) being discarded due to salmonella, deadly diseases showing up in our meats, now THEY want to move the facilities of Plum Island CLOSER to us and our families. Terrorists don't have to look any further because we are killing ourselves! NO need for us to be in Iraq or any of those places because soon, they will be better off than us. Speaking of Iraq, we should take a hint from the comedian that said an airport attendant became highly enraged at touching a bag of bacon that was stowed in his luggage while getting through security. As the comedian made a joke about his dad putting this bag of bacon in his bag, the Iraqi said he could go to hell and be in eternal damnation for just touching this bag of pork. Bingo! Drop bacon bombs instead of million dollar missles and our troops will be home in no time. When will OUR government wake up and smell the coffee?

msladyDeborah said...

When I read post like this, it only confirms my basic feelings about which set of terrorist we should be concerned about.

The ones between the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are far more frightening than imported ones. They are home grown American.

It is already obvious that our food supply is not safe. Not just the meat portion either. Remember the e-coli outbreak in which spinach was the carrier?

When I shop now~I want to know the country of origin when I am buying. Right now I am able to grow my own veggies and buy O~State produce. But once it grows cold again~all of our foodstuffs come from who-the-hell-knows where.

Who really knows what will happen if that facility is moved inland? I shrudder to think about all the ugly possibilties.

Good looking out with this post.

Anonymous said...

Man, they are moving it to Atlanta so they can be in a metro and have the scientists live a better life.

To me it's just let you know you don't control anything. You thought you could control GW and now you know you can't even control the CDC with Homeland Security.

I'm sure there's a reason and we'll know when there is a outbreak of Foot & Mouth in Atlanta.

Unknown said...

Lawd have mercy. Plum foolish doesn't even begin to cover it Torrance. You cover all the reasons NOT to move that damn security? Those idiots can't find their collective ass with both hands..

Great post!!! Thank you for educating us ;)

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

Reading folk

The Jaded NYer
NY is one of the states LOL

I cant figure it out either

SMH with u

Thanks sista

So true

Yep at UGA even

Kit (Keep It Trill)
Yep read handbook of biological warefare if u can get a copy – big write up on them in their. My copy is Xeroxed, they took it out of print

Insane is sick – they know what they doing

Yes I can and will and write a piece in Rollling out as well

Yep, but we blinded by the Obamafication of America

Just doing my service how ya been hon

Good look, im gone have to chk it out

dang they would silence me u think?

Thanks folk, and I got the 12 inch of that song – dropping science

Thanks man, stumbled on u , im glad we think the same and I cant figure it out, u know Galveston is one of the tentative sites – that’s where u are right?

Pimpin' Pens
Well I gotta to get down I95 asap folk

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs
No problem, loved your response to the flyyest

Cant protest what we don’t know

And how, like the little rascals would

I am, we blinded by the Obamafication of America

Ok where

LOL true, but not the vectors

When we understand that it is we the people and not we the corporation

Thank u but I do recant the island of Dr. Moreau, maybe that I figure

They looking at Athens GA here, Texas, NC, NY and Kansas

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

we can find their azzs for them and stick a foot in them u welcome

The Flyyest said...

i miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darius T. Williams said...

Yea bro - you find the most interesting stuff.

Tha BossMack TopSoil said...

Dude, I love tha work you put in.

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

The Flyyest
Miss u too hon, had to chk on you when I read all u were doing was crying, but like I said u a queen and as such u have faith - ok
like i said, Kitten said it best, do take her advice

Darius T. Williams
I try folk, I try

Tha BossMack TopSoil
Aint nothing but love for u too folk, especially if u can make the t’s for dogs – will love u even more lol

anita said...

that is fascinating!! but not in a good way. i was totallly unaware of plumb island. or maybe i heard about it and thought it was something from a science fiction novel.

biological warfare, or awful things happening because scientists are lazy and/or ideologically driven. it's been out of the headlines lately, but now i need to catch up on my reading.

NoRegrets said...

Amazingly enough, I recently heard that foot and mouth disease had been going through some daycare. (At least I'm thinking I'm remembering right.) I had never thought people could get it, but apparently they do. Scary thought that Plum Island will be moved.

Anonymiss said...

Wow. It's no surprise that the welfare of the American ppl isn't a priority but dag... The flagrancy is appalling.

Kristin said...

I don't know if I would be so quick to call this plum foolishness. I am sure people said the exact same thing regarding the CDC. The CDC houses live smallpox FHS! If the containment facilites are on par with those at the CDC I think that there will be very little to worry about.

Shy said...

Very interesting info, indeed. Just further supports my notion that our government could give two shits about US and our safety. This does nothing to ease my paranoia.

Keith said...

You're the man..Thanks for the
enlightenment..I'm going to have to look into this. Thanks for bringing this to light for many

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

We have to stay on top of stuff

Island of dr. moreau in Kansas, go figure

We are not a well read populus

CDC was never on an island. I worked next door to it for 16 years when I was a researcher and assistant professor at the emory university school of public health

Well that’s why folk like me here who aint afeared

Keith's Space
Thanks for the love folk, gone have to chk u out jones

Kristin said...

I know the CDC was never on an island I am a microbiologist I said that to say that I am sure people had reservations of having a facility like the CDC

Anonymous said...

You can probably figure out my responses to these types of things by now...


[BTW, I don't know if I ever told you, but I was 2 steps away from getting into an epidemiology program at Vandy--academic politics drove me the hell away...I don't have the patience.]

Anonymous said...

Dr. Stephens and all, We need your help to write/contact AJC and other media outlets. I live in Athens, GA; one of the 6 proposed sites of NBAF (National Bio and Agro Defense Facility)...The New Plum Island.

Please email to help us.

You can also get information on this proposed bio-terror defense lab at

This will be the largest animal lab facility in the WORLD. We are told by Dept.of Homeland Security that it will be "free airspace" for terrorists, zooks, or any type of accident.

If Athens, GA is the final site and any of you have children that want to attend UGA, think twice about sending them here. There are no cures for some of these zoonotic diseases.

From the DEIS: "Should a release of vector-borne pathogens occur, impacts such as aerial spraying of insecticide(s) could directly affect minority and low-income communities and other populations immediately adjacent to the site."

There is a dreaded 6.5 mile radius they are talking about and the UGA Campus is within that radius.

The Artist In Me said...

Your commentary on issues is fabulous Mr. Stephens. I find myself cracking up at issues that are not even laughable...sad really.

But yes...this issue on Plum Island is crazy. I second your motion. Why in the world would you want to bring some diseases inland? I tell smarts are not doing us any justice, now are they?

Be blessed!

aquababie said...

another proposed site is in my state as well...flora, ms. they first looked at terry, ms, but the folk created such a fuss, they decided to move it elsewhere.

shine said...

there goes the neighborhood!

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

You know they had a power outage the other day, so point well taken

You did, well at least u said public health. U would have liked it.

Will do and I got two op ed pieces planned in CL and RO

The Artist In Me
Thank u maam, thank u very much – hope u enjoy what u read

Hope we all fuss to keep it where it is, where there are no people

Lol, I cant ebven imagine having to do what I do in Africa, here at home if something like that gets out, yep folk here will be one of the first ones they call dang

Sista GP said...

Hubby's initial response was 'somebody wants to get paid'. And if it is moved to Athens, GA. The 'somebody' would be UGA. There are plenty of research departments that could get their hooks into the facility.

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

hubby i think may be right and they make work in HLS

Binwa said...

Ok that make sense folk with that creature and all washing up right by "plum island"It make sense now thanks for the insight!

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